Yb Tuan Haji Abdul Malik bin Abul Kasim,

Exco Hal Ehwal Agama, Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna

Yb Mr Danny Law Heng Kiang,
State Tourism Development & Culture Exco

Fellow invited speakers,

Ketua-ketua jabatan,

Dato'- dato',

Representative of association, event managers,

Distinguished guests,

Members of the media,

Ladies & gentleman.

A very good morning and I would like to wish "Selamat Datang" or Welcome to Penang to all of you.

Let me first record my deepest appreciation to the organizing committee of state of domestic trade & consumers affairs headed by YB Tuan Haji Abdul Malik Kasim for inviting me to deliver the keynote address this morning.

Before I proceed any further allow me to share with all of you that yesterday we have successfully launched the Penang Trade Events 2011 Calendar.

The trade calendar of events is to promote the trade shows and exhibitions for 2011 as one of the measures to spur and increase the economic activities of the trade and business sector in Penang.

This will help to designate Penang as the center for staging of trade shows and exhibitions not only in Malaysia but throughout the world.

Ladies & gentlemen,

This morning we are going to be a witness for the 1st Penang International MICE Conference focusing Penang as an emerging destination of choice. Why Penang?

Penang state government vision is to transform Penang into an international city that is the location of choice for investors, destination of choice for tourists and also a habitat of choice for those who desire sustainable living.

In order to achieve the aspirations and vision we need to have the following:-
1. Capable, clean and efficient civil service.
2. An overriding commitment to economic growth.
3. High degree of public-private partnership (PPP).
4. Development of human capital towards excellence, creativity and innovation
5. Sustainable and balanced development that helps to achieve a green state.
6. A people oriented government based on 3Es to enrich the people for an equitable share in the economic cake, empower the people with rights, opportunities and freedom, enable the people with skills and knowledge.
7. Observing the rule of law to promote certainty, justice and public order.
8. CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) governance to establish open tenders and a leadership with integrity.
9. Branding for Penang to ensure quality, reliability, safety, sustainability and integrity.
10. Social cohesion and inclusion towards a shared society that allows democratic participation, respect for diversity and individual dignity, equal opportunity and prohibition of discrimination.
11. Building reciprocity, reputation and trust through civic education and communications towards a civil society.

For this to become reality, Penang must step up regional engagement, cooperation and collaboration. Penang's economy can only flourish when it is intertwined with the rest of the world. We must work across borders between governments, industries and even academic institutions.

Ladies & gentlemen,

Penang is also regional headquarters to major multinational corporations. Even as the industrialized side of Penang marches on so does its cultural heritage and tourism.

With the UNESCO world heritage listing for Georgetown, Penang offers tourist a nostalgic glimpse of our past and a taste of the rich cultural diversity that is both timeless and unforgettable. Heritage preservation is based on the simple principle of doing as much as you can by changing as little as possible. To those who are already in Penang today, come to Georgetown so that you can see, touch and feel its distinctive character and soul that makes it a UNESCO world heritage site.

Tourism sector being a second income contributor to Penang has led the state government to make Penang as an international tourism hub with a targeted tourist arrival of 6 million in 2010 with an increase in the income sector from RM5.31 billion in 2000 to RM10.8 billion in 2010.

We target that 10 million tourist will visit Penang by 2014. The year 2009 has recorded a total of 2.97 million foreign tourists to Penang as compared to 2.81 million in 2008. The trend clearly shows that it is on the increase.

Having said all these, Penang is indeed an emerging destination of choice. And as we are all aware mice industry is one of the fastest growing segments within the tourism industry generating millions and billions income for cities and countries throughout the world. Realizing this, that is why we are focusing towards the direction and amongst others the objective of this conference are:-

1. To introduce Penang as a mice center in this region and to make Penang as a key player for the staging of international events and to penetrate into the lucrative mice markets worldwide.

2. To support and earmark trade and business events organized in Penang which can be promoted as an international events besides inviting and securing international events organizers to stage their events in penang.

3. To generate the tourism and service related industry and the trade and business sector to contribute strongly to the state economy

This conference highlights the importance of tapping into the mice sector and other related sectors as it will benefit the travel and industry.

Before I end my address, I would like to take this opportunity once again thanks to YB Abdul Malik Kasim and his organizing team for organizing the 1st Penang International Mice Conference today.

I am cognizant that the work being done today will help put in place and lead to a better Penang. On that note, I wish you a success and happy conference.

Thank you.

Tarikh akhir kemaskini: 22/12/2010